I was 23, working at Kickstarter on the Community team, and felt curious about how the website itself worked. I had always studied art and didn't have any previous coding experience. Once I really understood what could be built with code -- platforms dedicated to learning, creativity, art, inequality reduction, and more -- I knew I wanted to participate in the field.
I moved over to the Kickstarter engineering team a year later!
Tech education! I moved to Paris, France from NYC a few years ago and am Teaching Manager at OpenClassrooms, the largest online education platform in Europe (here's me):
I'm building a learning path on OpenClassrooms that teaches people to become frontend developers and culminates in an internationally-recognized degree. Students earn the degree by doing our projects, taking our courses, and getting help from a mentor once per week.
It's an incredible way to help people make the same transition to coding I did. I was privileged to already work for a startup, but there are people trying to become developers who lack access to the same resources and support systems. (Also pretty incredible: getting to meet the President of France when he came to visit us!)
Helping refugees and underprivileged communities find jobs in tech that pay well without them needing to shell out thousands of dollars for institutional education in other fields. We, the tech community, have a lot of great work to do here, especially in Europe.
I'm also excited to finally feel at home in France. I moved here on a whim, completely alone, and it's taken hard work to build what I have in this new country. I really encourage other women to do this: move somewhere entirely for yourself, and rebuild/rethink your life from in a new environment.
Find your passion and code in order to help that passion. You don't have to code just for the sake of coding. You can code for art (ex. at a museum), for humanity (ex. at a nonprofit), or for anything else, and you'll make a difference.
Stay strong in your opinions, but always listen and reconsider your worldview.
Lastly, intersectionality is important. I'm a straight, able-bodied white woman, and though I've dealt with plenty of nonsense sexism, I'm still very privileged. It's only through listening and supporting stories from all marginalized communities -- through the lenses of race, class, ability, ethnicity, and gender -- that we can create a better environment for everyone.